Common Ailments

Plantar Fasciitis

COMMON SYMPTOMS

• Stiffness and pain first thing in the morning or after resting for a long period – typically the pain lessens as you begin to move around again

• Sharp, stabbing pain on the bottom or side of the heel or in the arch of the foot

• Pain after standing or engaging in activity for a prolonged period

Pain from plantar fasciitis can last anywhere from a few weeks to months and ranges in severity. You can heal yourself with proper treatment methods and plenty of rest.

Plantar Fasciitis is a common condition that occurs when the long, flat ligament at the bottom of your foot (plantar fascia) stretches and develops small tears causing the ligament to become inflamed. The plantar fascia is a strong ligament, but not very elastic. Repeated movements, like running, can overstretch it and partially tear or pull it away from your heel bone. Increased activities, weight or age can contribute to developing plantar fasciitis.

 

Ball of Foot Pain

CAUSES

The ball of your foot takes a beating every day. As you walk, weight is transferred from your heel to the ball of your foot via your metatarsal bones. If this weight is distributed unevenly then pains and increased pressure on the ball of your foot can occur. Running, walking or jumping on hard surfaces can definitely affect the pressure or pain you’re feeling. Also the presence of bunions and/or hammer toes can contribute to ball of foot pains too.

Keeping your foot feeling good relies on the proper support. If you’re having pains in the ball of your foot we suggest you stick to wearing low heel shoes with plenty of space for your toes.

 

Achilles Tendinitis

Achilles Tendonitis is an overuse injury of the Achilles tendon. This is the band of tissue that connects your calf muscles at the back of the lower leg to your heel bone. This problem is common for runners who suddenly increase the intensity or duration of their runs and also in middle aged people who play sports. The pain associated with this issue usually begins as a mild ache in the back of the leg or above the heel after activity. Pain may worsen with increased or prolonged activity. Tenderness or stiffness in the morning that improves with mild activity can also be a symptom. Keep in mind that Achilles tendinitis can weaken the tendon, making it more vulnerable to a tear which can ultimately result in surgery. So please make sure you speak with your physician.

 

Bunions

A Bunion is an abnormal, bony bump that forms on the joint at the base of your big toe. When your big toe pushes up against your other toes, it can force your big toe joint in the opposite direction, away from the normal profile of your foot. This abnormal position enlarges your big toe, which causes further crowding and pain. Bunions can be caused by wearing high heels or ill-fitting shoes, inherited foot type or deformities or foot injuries.

 

Dry or Cracked Heels

CAUSES 

One of the main causes of dry, cracking skin is the winter air, but other common issues that can contribute to heel fissures include:

• Age
• Psoriasis or other skin conditions
• Diabetes
• Kidney disease
• Thyroid Disease
• Vitamin Deficiency
• Excess Weight

One of the first signs of cracked heels is the formation of thick callus tissue that can cause pain with everyday activities. Deep breaks and bleeding can occur if this goes untreated. Topical creams tend to be the best skin care treatment for this particular problem. Combining cream with a covering or bandage allows for the moisturizing agents to work more effectively by preventing moisture loss and acting as a barrier for bacteria.

 

Fallen Arches

CAUSES OF FALLEN ARCHES AND/OR FLAT FEET

A flat foot is normal in your early years as an infant or toddler. You’ve yet to develop arches that early on in life, but Flat feet can occur when your arch ends up not developing as you age. You can also develop flat feet after an injury or from the wear and tear of aging. Flat feet aren’t necessarily always painful, but in some instances people experience pain and discomfort. There is also a possibility that you may experience discomfort and other problems that stem directly from having flat feet. Your ankles and knees, for example, may be affected because of how your feet alter optimal alignment of your legs.

If you are experiencing pain an arch support could help you.

 

General Foot Pain

MORTON'S NEUROMA

Morton’s Neuroma is a painful condition that affects the ball of your foot. Usually pain is felt between your third and fourth toes–it could even feel like you’re standing on a pebble or on a fold in your sock. The tissue around one of the nerves leading to your toes thickens, which can cause the sharp and burning pain or numbness you may feel in the ball of your foot and/or toes. Morton’s neuroma seems to commonly occur in response to irritation, pressure or injury to one of the nerves that leads to your toes. Wearing high heels or participating in high impact athletic activities that increase the pressure on your toes can increase your risk.

 

Heel Pain

WHAT IS IT?

Heel pain is typically the result of overuse, but rarely is caused by a major injury. Heel Pain usually occurs on the back or underside of your heel. Plantar fasciitis can definitely cause heel pain, so keep that in mind. Although having heel pain may not be indicative of a serious issue, it can absolutely interfere with your daily routine.

Keep in mind that your heel may become swollen or tender from the following:

• Running on hard surfaces like concrete
• Running too often
• Tightness if your calf muscle or the Achilles tendon
• Shoes with poor support or shock absorption
• Sudden inward or outward turning of your heel
• Landing hard on your heel

 

Knee, Hip, Lower Back Pain

CAUSES

When you have problematic feet you open the doors to potentially developing issues elsewhere in the body. Remember, your kinetic chain connects your entire body, so feeling pains in one area of your body could trigger discomfort in others. Many individuals with plantar fasciitis or flat feet feel feel pains in their knees, hips and/or lower back. This is because your feet play an essential role in keeping your body aligned and balanced. When you’re feet are off, you can throw off other body parts.

 

 

Sources:

Mayo Clinic

WebMD

St. John Providence health System - stjohnprovidence.org

Podantics Podiatry - http://www.podantics.com.au/